GB No. 8, summer 1992
Some 30 km away from Szczecin, in the town of Torgelow (population 20.000), the biggest ever "refuse factory" in Germany and one of the biggest in Europe is planned to be built. In 20 plants, the refuse will be processed or incinerated. The factory will eventually process one third of German stock of used tyres and 200.000 tonnes of plastics. It will incinerate 90.000 tonnes of refuse each year. The radioactive waste will also most probably be stored on the premises. The whole factory will cover an area of 130 ha and thus the trees presently growing on the designated site will have to be felled to make room in a number significantly bigger than the quota of trees normally felled in the whole county within two years. Every day a fleet of 80 massive TIR lorries will arrive with a new consignment of waste for processing. By the end of 1993 around 50% of all plants will have been commissioned and fully operational, though the construction of the local sewage treatment plant has been scheduled for as late as 1995; the same date being envisaged for the allocation of storage areas for the incinerator waste. It is more than likely that the factory will also process the waste material from the other European countries.
The whole scheme has been devised by experts from the former West Germany as a way of dealing with unemployment, which in Torgelow itself reaches nearly 50%. Approximately 1.000 workers will find employment in the factory and about the same number in the ancilliary plants.
The project boasts the official approval of the Maklemburg land. The site was originally named an "ECOPARK". Several large companies, including Tyssen of Dusseldorf and EMO power station of Neubrandenburg are also involved in the project.
It would appear that co-operation of the Polish neighbour will be crucial for the viability of the project, although no official approach has been made to date. The waste is supposedly to be brought by sea to the port of Szczecin, to be then transported by land to the site in Torgelow itself. (Now, this should fire your imagination! Can you just come up with a better idea for multiplying the ecological threats to the area? Particularly in view of the prospective relaxation of the government regulations pertaining to the imports of waste materials into Poland). There have been no official negotiations as yet but the local Polish community is already being lured by the prospects of work in the handy Torgelow plant.
Should the Torgelow project be eventually implemented, the cokery in Stonawa would appear but a cosy fireplace in comparison. Dioxane brought to the area by the western winds will put in jeopardy Europe's second largest erne population at the island of Wolin; the concept of establishing the international park of biosphere (that envisages the inclusion of the ¦widwie nature reserve on the Polish side of the border) will have to be abandoned, the international nature reserve on the Lower Oder river would then best be approached in gas masks, whilst the Wolin National Park, the Goleniów Forest and the Beech Forest - to name but a few - shall all be seriously jeopardized...
All the information presented above has been readily supplied by the representatives of the Gruene Lige (the land of Maklemburg), that were themselves quite surprised at the total ignorance in this respect of the relevant Szczecin authorities.
The Gruene Lige can by contacted at the following address:
Jahnweg 1, 0-2113 Ferdinandshof,
Królewicza 4/H26, 71-550 Szczecin.
transl. by Sigullum Ltd.